Brines Across the Solar System


The LPI’s Brines Across the Solar System (BAS) initiative dives into brines as a planetary process, from modern to ancient brines and the technologies needed to explore them. Salty aqueous solutions (i.e., brines) are prominent across diverse planetary bodies. They are observed in the gas plumes presently erupting from Enceladus, reconstructed from precipitates on the surface of Ceres and Mars, and inferred from meteoritic samples. Understanding the mechanisms that led to the formation and preservation of these brine systems provides vital clues to their role in geological, geophysical, environmental, and biological processes. In this three-part conference series, we will address questions relating to the thermodynamics and physiochemistry of brines, as well as their occurrence today and throughout time in our solar system and beyond.

LPI Initiative Organizing Committee

Edgard G. Rivera-Valentín (lead), Justin Filiberto, Kennda L. Lynch, and Paul M. Schenk

Topical Conference Schedule and Locations

Modern Brines

Conference Date: October 25–28, 2021
Location: LPI, Houston, Texas
Mode: Virtual
Synopsis: In this topical conference, the first in the LPI’s BAS initiative, we will explore the environments where brines may be presently forming, their potential habitability, and their role in ongoing and active planetary processes.

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Ancient Brines

Conference Date: September 12–15, 2022
Location: TBD
Mode: TBD
Synopsis: This conference will pay particular interest to understanding the formation, location, and possible biosignatures associated with ancient brine systems and their impacts on the origin and evolution of life and climate.

Future Brines

Conference Date: May 2023
Location: TBD
Mode: TBD
Synopsis: In this conference, we will synthesize and integrate the lessons learned from the first two meetings via discussions about state of technology topics related to planetary exploration of brines, analog field work, computational modeling, laboratory fundamental work of brine characterization, planetary protection, and in situ resource utilization (ISRU).

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